Easter celebration revisited

A little while ago I mused about the difficulty of celebrating Easter with my class if infants and toddlers in my post How to Celebrate Easter? Well obviously Easter has passed now and perhaps you were wondering how we celebrated.

As I teach at a Christian centre we really do make a fuss about Easter. We celebrated by hosting an ‘Easter Walk’. Which is kind of like an exhibition that you can walk though and interact with. Each exhibit was a small part of the Easter story for example when Jesus got arrested. We also encouraged families to bring along a plate of food to share to make it really social and enjoyable.

If you are interested in the nitty gritty of our Easter Walk check out this blog by one of my fellow teachers. Maybe you will be inspired for next year?

For my team in the infants and toddlers we were responsible for one part of the Easter walk, the garden of Gethsemane. This is the place were Jesus prayed before being arrested (I know so much more about the Easter story now!). We decided to focus on this element of prayer and made our exhibit engaging by inviting people to contribute prayers which we are now sharing during our morning meeting times.

As I have mentioned before, I do not have a religious background, so praying and talking about God, is far outside my comfort zone. What I am passionate about it community and citizenship and to me that means taking part fully. To get myself involved and carve out a place for myself in this event I crated a detour (just a small one) into our classroom. There my co-teachers and I invited people to think of a ‘secret prayer’ something that would just be between them and God, write it down and place it in a recycled Nespresso capsule and then glue it into a mosaic of a cross.

It was a lot of fun to talk with parents and children and challenge them to think about their hearts most secret prayer. I was surprised to see people take the idea seriously and really contemplate what they would write. It became something very meaningful and powerful and I can only imagine what seeds have been sown in people’s minds as they make explicit their hearts most secret prayers (even if only to themselves).

Having said all this, I wonder what my class of infants and toddlers got from experiencing this event? After all they did not write down any prayers or discuss the finer points of the Easter story. What did they contribute to our Easter walk?

I would like to think that the children enjoyed being at the Easter walk, enjoyed the food, enjoyed running around with their friends and climbing in and out of Jesus’ tomb. I like to think they will have many pleasurable memories of the event to look back on. As for the question, what did these very young children contribute to our Easter walk? I think the answer comes from the concept of ’emotional contagion’. When we are surrounded by children having fun and being joyful, that spirit is then transmitted to us, meaning we have more fun and become more joyful. How much more somber and serious would our event have been if there were no children?

I am very satisfied by how our Easter celebration played out. It was exciting to be a part of and I look forward to a repeat next year!

I would love to hear about how you celebrated Easter. Was there lots of chocolate bunnies and Easter egg hunts? (We had one at my place!). Did you go to church or celebrate at home? Maybe you spent the long weekend away? Please share your experience, I would love to hear all about it.

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